best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:28 pm

Dear Space 12,

Well I'm delighted that you found this thread useful and that you enjoy your "new standard" guitalele! Now, if you want to go one step further, you should really try the Gretsch or the Kala because the massive top makes a huge difference with the Yamaha, which has a very good projection but a rather poor range of dynamics.

All the best,
GT

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:31 pm

Once you file the nut slots to make them wider for strings in standard tuning, does that mess up things if you want to go back to having it tuned A-A? I wonder if having a different nut for this purpose is advisable.

gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:41 pm

Dear Carl Wasterman,

Maybe we should ask a professionnal to be sure, but in my opinion there's no problem to switch back to A-A tuning, just as long as the nut slots are filed properly, i-e only in width and not in depth to avoid string buzzing.

Regards,

Gilles

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:17 pm

Good point, Gilles. Do you think it's strictly necessary to widen the slots to enable the wider strings to sound correctly, or is that done just to make tuning easier? Thanks, CW

gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:18 pm

Hello Carl,

It's all about avoiding screetching and cracking noises when tuning; I guess there's no intonation issues if you really don't want to file the slots. On my Gretsch, no slots needed to be filed, and the low "C" Hannabach silver special (tuned to E) fits perfectly in the extant 6th slot. I strongly advice to choose this particuliar C string which is far more thin than the big "B" additionnal string from Savarez — and sounds better too.

Keep in touch,
regards.

gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:36 pm

@CarlWestman
By the way, I sincerly apologize for mispelling your name in some previous posts; I should have read more carefully.
Regards,
GT

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:59 pm

Gilles - no problem, I understand what you meant.

So do you feel that you'll leave it in standard tuning with these strings, or is the desire to have standard tuning just an option that you like to have for occasional use?

gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:38 pm

Dear Carl,

I'm really happy with the guitalele tuned in E, and I don't think I will ever switch back to A tuning. As aforementioned in a previous post, the Gretsch tuned in E has this special rich and full sound, with a better balance between bass, medium and treeble. I also think I will stick to Hannabach strings, maybe try the light tension (green card) which is known to be similar to "normal" tension in other brands.

Regards
GT

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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by hpaulj » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:54 pm

Speaking of the Gretsch v. Yamaha. I've been teaching myself on a GL1. But when I tried a Gretsch at the store the other day, I got less fret buzz. The Yamaha is quite unforgiving when it comes to finger placement - it needs to be close to the fret, especially on the lower strings. That makes chords that stack the fingers (e.g. 2nd fret of 4 and 5) harder. The Gretsch was more forgiving, making these chords and barres easier.

So far I'm sticking with the default tuning, and have only replaced the 2 middle strings with ProArte EJ45s.

The store was too noisy to notice any other differences in sound.

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:40 am

GT - thanks. Good to know - I may try it! That would be so cool. Do you have any sound samples of the guitalele in standard tuning, or know of any?

The Gretsch is tempting but the low humidity in my house is unforgiving in winter, so I prefer to avoid solid tops. I do have a couple solid-top Washburn Rovers that require soundhole sponge humidifiers, but they have cases that seal up well. I'd be concerned the air exchange through a gigbag like Gretsch's would mean I might have to re-dampen the sponge every couple days, instead of weekly.

That is interesting about the Gretsch being more forgiving. Certainly things get crowded on the guitalele, to the point that some fingerings from guitar simply must be changed to work well.

I'd love to have one, but I don't want another solid top to take care of in winter.

gilles T
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by gilles T » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:34 am

Dear Carl,

I understand that you care about the health of your instruments but, believe me, those Gretsch are built like tanks. The massive top is so solid that I had to venture around various sets, during a span of more than two years, to find the strings that will make this heavy soundboard ring with the right amount of avibrations... Plus, I live in a flat with electrical heating, which results in a very dry air and can be potentially harmful for any instrument. Yet, I never had any cracks or problems with any of my guitars. My guitalele is roaming in various places on my office deck (it feels so good to sight reading the scores I find everyday on the web!), wich is located at less than 2 meters from the heater : no problem, not even the need to tune it every morning.
Oh, yes, I have one tip to make things easier with the dry air : I always leave a sponge floating in bucket full of water somewhere in the room : this is very effective — and by the way it absorbs wonderfully the cigarette smoke...

It's important to keep a good amount of humidity in the room where you keep your instruments but, as you see, it's not so difficult — unless you live in an extreme weather.

Regards,

Gilles
PS : no sound sample for the moment, but I'll do my best to post one in the next future. And welcome home if you come to Paris !

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:15 am

Glad to hear of your good experience. Mine is not so favorable. Had a solid-top crack within minutes upon removal from case in low humidity environment (Arizona); had a ply top neck shrink to the point of fret sprout, though it took several years.

A room that can be closed off is easier to keep humidified than a home with an open floor plan. I may try your tip in a room that can be closed off. I'll let you know how it goes.

May you continue to have good luck!
CW

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:50 am

gilles T wrote:PS : no sound sample for the moment, but I'll do my best to post one in the next future. And welcome home if you come to Paris !
Would still love to hear a sound sample of the Guitalele tuned to E, if you have one.

ninja_cat

Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by ninja_cat » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:38 pm

Do you think it's a good idea to try out steel strings with GL1 tuned into standard tuning?

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CarlWestman
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Re: best strings for E tuning on guitalele?

Post by CarlWestman » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:37 am

In general, nylon stringed guitars are not constructed to handle the higher tension of steel strings; the result can be structural damage to the instrument. I would not advise it unless the manufacturer explicitly states that either type of string can be used.

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